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Surrogacy in the United Kingdom

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If you are a UK citizen or considering surrogacy overseas, maybe you are aware of the unclear relation of the UK law to surrogacy cases. It has been declared in UK that surrogacy is legal, but in contrary to that, entering an arrangement is not that easy. There are also increasing number cases where the UK couples are availing surrogacy in the USA instead and start building their families there.

The very first surrogate baby in the United Kingdom is baby 'cotton'. He was born the year 1985 and in the same year, the Surrogacy Arrangement Act quickly passed in as a knee-jerk reaction to surrogacy.

Aside from regulating surrogacy in the UK, the act also stated that no surrogacy agreement is enforceable. It also implied that the arrangement will only be handled by the surrogate and intended parents themselves. Any other person who will be joining the same arrangement will be counted for a criminal offence. People will be encouraging or giving the same idea to the couples without any baby can also have the same criminal case.


This scope of the UK law is to avoid the operations of commercial surrogacy agencies in the place. This act also limits the English lawyers from advising or helping the surrogate or intended parents. They should discuss the matter with themselves only.

The law also establishes a criminal offense for any advertisement regarding the application of those who are willing ti become a surrogate mother or granting any request for surrogate services. Despite the unenforceable surrogacy and some criminal offenses in the place, the intended parents are still free to have a legal arrangement by paying the corresponding fine in the court to gain parental rights to the baby.

Surrogacy has been a normal practice in various countries around the world. The High Court Judges are questioning all the intended parents to have their consultation to the specialist lawyer as early as possible when they have to engage in the surrogacy process. They must be able to understand and have a background about the issues related to surrogacy.

The first issue that is connected to surrogacy is the legal parentage. It is important for the intended parents to have knowledge about the proper process of gaining rights over the baby. This is also advisable on the part of the parents who availed the service in the USA. They must understand that there is a great need to remove first the parental rights of the surrogate mother and her husband over the baby before gaining theirs too.

The process will vary for different countries around the world. Various states might be offering procedures in the legalization of the intended parents' rights. One order from a state might have no effect at all when it comes to the other state. The parents must have a wide background about this. 

An example of the scenario above is that in California it is valid to have two legal parents, it will be considered as illegal in the UK. The English law considers the surrogate mother and her husband to be the legal parents of the child, but for UK, once the intended parents have undergone a proper parental order procedure, they will be consider as the legal parents of the baby.

The second important matter when it comes to surrogacy is the nationality and citizenship of the baby. For babies that were born in the USA, they will be required to have their US passport. But for the cases of the babies that were born in international surrogacy destinations like India or Ukraine, they are considered to be stateless and disallowed to have a passport from their intended home government or country of birth. This is for the reason that various countries employ different citizenship laws and varying approaches when it comes to surrogacy.

At present, there are lots of conflicts that the surrogacy laws of various countries are encountering. This law may be valid for one, but not for the other. They may be alike, but still somewhat different from each other in some aspects. The English court is now doing its best resolve these complicated conflicts about the parental order issue of surrogacy.

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